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Five Signs That Tell You It’s Time to See a Therapist

As a mental health professional who has been in the field for a while, it’s been interesting to observe why and how people end up in my office seeking guidance. The following is a list of indicators that may be signaling to you it could be time for you to seek support from a mental health professional.

  1. Your loved ones are noticing that you are different. Sometimes, we are not able to look at ourselves objectively…that is we can’t clearly see how we behave sometimes. It is like when you look into a mirror and only see certain flaws or spots in your face or body but can’t quite see the whole picture.  Those around us, specifically our loved ones, hold a special perspective of ourselves and can see different aspects of ourselves that we are not able to.  If loved ones, people who see us every day, or people who interact with us often notice unusual or “not typical” behaviors and point it out, they might be signals that mean we need some extra help from a therapist. They may tell you that they are concerned about things like substance abuse, irritability, mood changes, isolation, or your daily routines.
  2. You feel a sense of emotional discomfort that has lasted longer than 2 weeks. You’ve made it this far into life with all you’ve got, but sometimes, life can become daunting or unmanageable.  If you feel any sense of apathy, sadness, nervousness, worry, or uncertainty that has been unmanageable or if you’re noticing behavior changes like not wanting to engage in relationships, snapping back at others, feeling like you don’t want to do anything, not finding pleasure in old hobbies, or changes in your appetite, it might be time to take a closer look at yourself.  When these “signals” come up for longer than two weeks it might be time to gethelp from a professional.  This is when it might be beneficial to seek out therapy so you don’t have to carry the weight of these challenges all on your own.
  3. You have some unpacked baggage. You know that incident that you never told anyone about?  Or that “skeleton in the closet” you’ll never ever talk about to anyone else about?  Sometimes, these old “secrets” or “shameful things” can be the cause of depression, anxiety, and relationship problems.  Working through these traumas can really alleviate emotional pain and increase your overall quality of life (physical and emotional).  Therapists are people who help you carry your pain so that you don’t have to hold these dark secrets alone. They also hold the information with your privacy and dignity in mind and are bound to strict confidentiality, so you know your material is safe with us.
  4. You’ve been putting it off. I know we’re all pretty busy…family, work, finances, and all the other things on your plate. Maybe you’ve heard it from loved ones or you’ve had a moment earlier in life where you have said to yourself that you should probably seek professional help.  Maybe you’re curious about how therapy can help you feel better but haven’t had the time or the means.  Most therapists, especially nowadays amidst the Coronavirus, have transitioned most or all their practices to serve people online.  This adds to the convenience of therapy and saves lots of time. A typical therapy session lasts anywhere from 45-60 minutes and can be done once per week (or less often).
  5. You want to break cycles. In some cases, you may be fully aware of the damage that people or situations in your life have caused.  “Dysfunctional” or unhealthy patterns that have plagued your family for many generations may come to mind.  Maybe nobody in your family has ever tried going to therapy because of the stigma associated with help-seeking or even due to lack of access or resources.  Now is the time to consider if you want to break those “generational curses” and learn healthy ways to live.  You could also be sparing future generations by exploring new ways to cope.

 Now that you’ve read through these signals and have more details about therapy, I hope you consider signing up with a therapist that fits your needs.  If you are ready to participate in the therapy process, please contact us at Counseling of El Paso 915-209-1234.  I hope reading through these examples has helped you gain a new perspective on the importance of seeing a therapist.  I wish you peace, love, and mental health.

Cristal Martinez Acosta, LPC-S, NCC
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